Hello, Please Listen Attentively
There have been many funny, frustrating, bewildering episodes of miscommunication with hotel staff. Here are some highlights:
I had called Guest Services to request for some string to tie my box for checking-in. While I thought the person had understood this simple request, I received a call shortly after from Room Service, asking if I had wanted to order a drink.
We informed the sommelier that we did not need to taste the wine, but he still poured some into the glass for our sampling.
Despite us informing the waiter that we would like two of the dishes to arrive together – and the order taker confirming so – they still came separately 5 minutes apart.
I called to request for some blank A4 paper, and the person thought I wanted to have black pepper.
I called the operator to ask if there was a message left for me (as I was expecting one from one of the departments). I was asked to hold the line, and then moments later, asked if I was checking out. (Perhaps the operator has just assumed message = billing message = checkout?)
Calling In-Room Dining to come clear the tray, and I received a call back an hour later to ask if I have finished the meal and if they could come and clear. (Made me wonder what the first person had heard in the first place!)
Anecdote from an industry veteran: Housekeeping attendant asked the couple if he could turn down the room in the evening. Perhaps the employee had said something like “For turndown please” along with a palm gesture; but what the guests interpreted was him asking “Four dollars please”. (Amazingly, the couple gave the surprised employee $4, closed the door and then complained thereafter that staff was going around asking for money!)
Reflective thoughts: Do we hear what we want to hear, or are we really paying attention to what is being said? Share some examples with the team today.